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Emeritus Attorney Limited License

An Emeritus Attorney is able to perform pro bono legal work for approved nonprofit legal service organizations.  Idaho Bar Commission Rule 228.

An attorney who is or had been actively licensed to practice law in Idaho or any state or territory of the U.S. within the past 5 years may apply for an Emeritus Attorney Limited License.  I.B.C.R. 228(b).

Application Process

The Emeritus Attorney applicant must submit to the ISB Admissions Department a sworn statement verifying that:

  1. the attorney is or had been actively licensed to practice law in Idaho or another state or territory of the U.S. within the 5 years preceding the application;
  2. the attorney shall not ask for or receive compensation for legal services;
  3. the attorney shall abide by the Idaho Rules of Professional Conduct and all other laws and rules governing lawyers admitted to the ISB; and
  4. the attorney shall submit to the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court and the ISB for disciplinary purposes.

The Emeritus Attorney applicant must request written confirmation from the Approved Legal Assistance Organization be sent directly to the ISB Admissions Department confirming that the Emeritus Attorney applicant is currently associated with the Approved Legal Assistance Organization and that the organization has been approved by the Supreme Court.

If the Emeritus Attorney applicant is or had been actively licensed to practice law in Idaho within the previous 5 years, the ISB will verify this information internally in its Licensing Department.

Approved Legal Assistance Organization

A nonprofit legal assistance organization may file a petition with the Idaho Supreme Court to be an Approved Legal Assistance Organization under I.B.C.R. 228.  Please note that the Idaho Volunteer Lawyers Program is an Approved Legal Assistance Organization under I.B.C.R. 228(c) pursuant to Supreme Court Order No. 94-13.

The nonprofit organization's petition must recite with specificity:

  1. the structure of the organization and whether it accepts funds from clients;
  2. the major source of funds used by the organization;
  3. the criteria used to determine potential clients' eligibility for legal services offered by the organization;
  4. the types of legal and non-legal services offered by the organization;
  5. the names of all members of the ISB who are employed by the organization or who regularly perform legal work for the organization; and
  6. the existence and amount of malpractice insurance which will cover the Emeritus Attorney.

Additional Requirement for Out-of-State Applicants

If the Emeritus Attorney applicant is not currently or has not been actively licensed to practice law in Idaho within the previous 5 years, the Emeritus Attorney applicant must also submit to the ISB Admissions Department a Certificate of Good Standing from the state or territory of the U.S. in which the Emeritus Attorney is or was previously licensed demonstrating that the Emeritus Attorney applicant meets the requirements of I.B.C.R. 228(b).

Process for Admission

Once the ISB receives the Emeritus Attorney applicant's sworn statement, written confirmation from the Approved Legal Assistance Organization, and, if necessary, a Certificate of Good Standing confirming the Emeritus Attorney applicant's eligibility under I.B.C.R. 228(b), then the ISB shall recommend the Emeritus Attorney applicant for an Emeritus Attorney Limited License to the Idaho Supreme Court.  Once the ISB makes that recommendation, it generally takes one to two weeks for the Court to issue an Order granting the Emeritus Attorney Limited License.

Termination or Change in Status of License

The Emeritus Attorney Limited License may be terminated upon request of the Emeritus Attorney, by the Idaho Supreme Court, or upon the Court's withdrawal of its approval of the Approved Legal Assistance Organization the Emeritus Attorney is associated with.

In order to transfer to any other membership status with the ISB, please refer to I.B.C.R. 306.  Contact Annette Strauser, Licensing and MCLE Administrator, with questions about changing status.

Licensing Requirements

An Emeritus Attorney must complete at least 3 credit hours of continuing legal education (CLE) from an Approved Legal Assistance Organization each year.  The CLEs shall be offered free of charge to an Emeritus Attorney.  The annual license fee for an Emeritus Attorney is currently $150.  I.B.C.R. 304.  Questions about the CLE and license fee requirements should be directed to Annette Strauser, Licensing and MCLE Administrator.

Questions?  Please contact Maureen Ryan Braley or Belinda Brown by email or by phone at 208-334-4500.

Idaho State Bar Admissions Department
P.O. Box 895
Boise, ID 83701